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Holiday Market in Chester provides food assistance to residents during the holiday season through its Best Wishes program, with donations given to Helping Hands Food Bank, the Almanor Basin Food Pantry, and the Chester Wellness and Family Resource Center. From left: Chester Plumas Bank representatives Amy Jarrard, Adele Lindquist and Richelle Clement; Barbara Sperr of Helping Hands Food Bank; Pam Mashburn and Carol Franchetti of the Almanor Basin Food Pantry; Betty Hafterson and Kris Moore of Helping Hands; Pat Amormino and Ray Stivers of the Chester Wellness and Family Resource Center; and Louise and Bob Osborne of Helping Hands. Kneeling from left: Holiday Market employees Joy Newell, Rebecca Penny and Chandler Stout. Photos by Stacy Fisher

Holiday Market helps local pantries with Best Wishes program

Help fight hunger in the Almanor Basin through the purchase of a $5 food bag donation at Chester Holiday Market, with the food distributed back to local food pantries.

Holiday Market of Chester provides food assistance to residents during the holiday season through its Best Wishes Food Drive in partnership with area food pantries.

Because a number of families and low wage earners in the Lake Almanor Basin Area must look to outside organizations for help with their food needs, Helping Hands Food Bank, located next door to Wesleyan Church on Frost and Gay St., the Almanor Basin Food Pantry, at 386-A Main St., and the Chester Wellness and Family Resource Center, located at 372 Main St., collaborate with Holiday Market each year, which asks for a $5 donation per food bag from shoppers who make a purchase, but then donate the food, which is distributed back to the food pantries.

This is the market’s sixth year sponsoring its Best Wishes program, which runs through the month of November and ends Saturday, Dec. 1.

Bags contain food items that include long grain rice, creamy peanut butter, mashed potatoes, spaghetti and green beans.

Many local businesses have agreed to donate funds to help provide for additional pantry food purchases.

Businesses that make contributions have their names printed on flyers attached to each food bag, including in-store radio announcements, and have their business names advertised on a large in-store sign letting customers know that your company is a sponsor.

Holiday Market staff and pantry volunteers all expressed gratitude for the kindness and generosity of the local community, which has always responded positively to the program, according to Joy Newell, Chester Holiday Market assistant manager.

Last year alone saw over 2,500 bags sold to shoppers, placing more than 13,000 food items into local food banks.

Newell said, “Best Wishes is a program supported by every one of our 22 stores nationally, which we are so proud to sponsor. The donated food stays locally in each community we serve. … We’re hoping to break last year’s record with the number of bags that our customers buy and donate to our local pantries.”

For more information on the Best Wishes program, or if your business wishes to participate by offering donations, email Joy Newell at: [email protected].

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